Justin Verlander is making folks within the Detroit Tigers organization a bit uneasy when they focus on the ace of their staff. It’s hard to explain what’s gone wrong for the 31-year-old this season, but there certainly are stats on his 2014 record that tell stories just by glancing over the numbers.
First, here’s a look at a few recent starts that didn’t quite go as planned:
5/14/14 vs. Baltimore Orioles: 6 innings, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Despite getting the win in this game, Verlander gave up his fair share of base-runners and earned runs in this one. This marked his 7th start of the season where he allowed at-least six hits.
5/20/14 vs. Cleveland Indians: 6 innings, 11 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
The 14 base-runners he accounted for speak for themselves, but a telling number here is the lack of hitters he wasn’t able to put away with ease. Just two strikeouts here says that his pitching was a bit flat – something that has shown when watching his starts.
5/25/14 vs. Texas Rangers: 5.1 innings, 11 hits, 9 runs, 6 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Just one strikeout in this start, but the worst stat here was the 11 hits that Verlander surrendered for the second straight start. The Rangers offense isn’t a bad one, but there’s no excuse for this one.
Here are a few concerning trends:
Just one game with less than five hits
28 hits in five starts in May
Just 50 strikeouts in over 70 innings
Despite an inevitable four-game swoon this week after a perfect 6–0 start to their latest road trip, this team is for real.
Across the first quarter of the season, the starting pitching has been the envy of most MLB teams and the relief pitching has recovered from an uneven start.
On the whole, the defense has been solid and the new Brad Ausmus and Company’s inspired “rapid run” offense has captivated the fan base while posting runs to the scoreboard.